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Inbound Industry Report: March 26, 2012

Top marketing news, articles and tips from the fourth week of March 2012.

Brand Strategy

Paula Andruss of Entrepreneur (@entmagazine) teamed up with The Values Institute at DGWB (@dgwb) to survey why some brands—such as Amazon, Apple, Coca-Cola and Target—find success, and stay on top. The results showed that it’s personal: trustworthy brands build solid, emotional connections with consumers. By forging relationships beyond utility, brands resonate with their audiences and create more loyal fans.

In fact, when researching for his book, Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World's Greatest Companies, branding consultant and former P&G global marketing officer Jim Stengel (@jimstengel) found that P&G brands with strong emotional benefits had higher shares and greater growth margins than others.

When you know the brand you want to portray, make sure your words and actions meet those expectations. See Christopher Penn’s (@cspenn) Do Your Words Reflect Your Personal Brand? for details. 

Social Media Strategy

With the ever-increasing pace of social media engagement, marketers must learn to capitalize on real-time opportunities, and do it well. Meghan Keaney Anderson (@meghkeaney) offers this plan to become a more agile social media marketer:

  1. Set up social monitoring to stay updated on opportunities (or problems).
  2. Create a crisis plan in the event of an issue to avoid PR disasters.
  3. Don’t just respond; educate with additional content.
  4. Look for opportunities in unsuspecting places—unique instances can garner serious attention.
  5. Use social media tools or apps that help you maximize efficiency and speed.

PR & Media Relations

It can be a daunting task for first-time entrepreneurs to pitch their product or service to media in hopes of getting covered. Luckily, Leo Widrich (@leowid) outlines every last detail of his own, successful experience in a complete guide to get media coverage for startups. Looking for some main takeaways? Start with these suggestions:

  • Tell your story by blogging. Not only will you become a better writer, but you’ll learn what attracts others.
  • Get to know writers, and become interested in what they do and write about; focus first on connecting with the rising stars, not the big names.
  • Craft your pitch with one clear question the writer can respond to, and recognize that timing is an art.

Marketing & Tech Integration

Marketing is an increasingly tech-enabled industry, and thus the roles and responsibilities of CMO and CIO are becoming more integrated. Jill Puleri (@jpuleri) suggests that the CMO can “no longer enjoy the luxury of being naïve about IT,” and must embrace technology tools for maximum marketing effectiveness. Puleri outlines how CMOs can begin this partnership with the following tips:

  • Work closely with the CIO; get involved with critical practices (data governance, for example).
  • Ask smart questions, and take the time to self-educate.
  • Leverage technology to drive positive changes in your business process—just be sure you have the right team in place to activate them. 

Evangelos Simoudis (@esimoudis) expands on this trend, recognizing that CMOs are starting to drive the next-gen application agenda. This one is an interesting read, as it’s from the perspective of the software folks now faced with selling to marketing buyers. (In short, we’re a bunch of n00bs, and should follow Puleri’s advice above.)

In the News

What articles made your top list last week? We’d like to hear your opinions.

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